Monday, November 06, 2006

Odds & Ends and the Washington Post

While waiting for Joshua to finish his trombone lesson this evening, I browsed through a little bit of the local newspaper, the Washington Post, and came across some interesting items.

Dave pointed out the first one, which had this intriguing headline:

Captains of Industry, Masters of Cheating

According to a business professor at Rutgers University, 56% of MBA students report having cheated at least once in the past year. Graduate students in engineering ran a close second at 54%. I'm a little bit alarmed at the next figure: 49% of grad students in medical school/health care cheated. Just how much confidence should I have in my doctor's diagnoses and recommendations? Continuing on, since so many of our family members are, or have been, teachers, you may be disappointed to know that 48% of education grad students cheated at least once in the past year. How much do your children's teachers actually know? And how can they teach your kids to be honest if they, themselves, lack integrity? Humanities and social science majors were the most honest - only 39% of them cheated.

I told Dave that I was too arrogant to cheat: I always figured my work was better than anyone else's anyway, so there was no point in degrading myself by copying their crummy stuff.


Another article suggested that North American hockey should be named "Thugs on Ice." According to two Canadian researchers, players born in the USA and Canada are significantly more likely to be penalized for fighting, unnecessary roughness and unsportsmanlike conduct than players born in Europe.

I guess that explains why, when we saw the Leafs and Capitals last year, five fights broke out in one game. During the second period, three fights broke out within the space of 2-3 minutes. And the final one broke out as we were leaving in the last few seconds of the game. Dave and the boys can't wait to see another fight, er, game this year.


Headline from a report about Charlotte, North Carolina:

States, Counties Begin to Enforce Immigration Law

Is it so unusual for law enforcement officials to do their job that it's actually headline news when they do it? What were they doing before they began enforcing the law?


16% of readers polled by the Post admitted to having kept an overdue library book for at least one year. People ages 34 and younger, men and college graduates are more likely to have kept library books beyond their due dates. I once misplaced a book that I had borrowed from the Winnipeg Public Library. I paid a hefty fine, then found the book a year or so later. Since the amount I'd paid exceeded the actual sales value of the book, I kept the book as a purchased item.


When we got home from Joshua's trombone lesson, we had two election messages on our answering machine. I've been reading about these for several days. Now I can count myself among the privileged millions who have been harassed by sleazy Republican campaign techniques. Let me say up front that I'm registered as an independent voter and have no affiliation with any political party.

The first call was a "push poll" call. This is a call that purports to ask survey questions, then proceeds to push a party line. We've gotten several of these in the past few weeks, usually in the evening when someone is home to answer the phone.

The second was a "robo-call." This was the first one of these we've gotten. This is an automated call that opens with the line, "I'm calling with some information about xxxx." At that point, the recording makes some nasty, slanted remarks about a candidate. Then it closes by suggesting that you should vote for another candidate, who seemingly does everything short of walking on water.

In the past week, the Republicans have spent millions of dollars on push polls and robo-calls all across the country. And you wouldn't believe the vicious flyers we've gotten - primarily from the Republican party/candidate. In the past month, off the top of my head, I can count two positive ads promoting what one candidate (our incumbent Republican Congressman) has accomplished and five negative ads detailing why his opponent is the Genghis Khan of Fairfax County.

This election cycle is definitely the dirtiest one I've ever witnessed. And it's only a mid-term election. Heaven help us when the next presidential election rolls around! I may have to find a nice, cozy cave to live in for awhile. Perhaps I'll start looking for one on Wednesday, when the pundits will surely begin chattering, nattering, blathering and nagging about "Decision 2008."


Dave said...

To read 48% of education graduate students admit to cheating at least once in the prior twelve months is disconcerting. Under-graduate education students would be at a higher rate. These are key people beyond the home being intrusted with teaching the values to our children. They are to uphold and teach academic honest and honesty in general to our youth. The shame of it all.

And many of them are the same one's who are the first to cry out against a fallen religious leader.

Jenn said...

i don't know what is worse, american politics where you slander, are in the voters face and stop at nothing for success - or canadian politics, where nobody gives a crap - rick mercer for prime minister!!!!

Barbara said...

I would totally have to agree with the article on North American hickey. It seems that they have to fit in a certain number of fights each game just for the entertainment factor. Personally, I hate watching hockey on TV ... with the exception of Olympic hockey.